Battle of Fundina

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Battle of Fundina
Part of Montenegrin-Turkish War of 1876-1878
Date 2 August 1876
Location Fundina, Montenegro
Result Decisive Montenegrin victory[1]
Belligerents
 Principality of Montenegro  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Ilija Plamenac
Marko Miljanov Popović
Mahmud Pasha
Strength
5,000 40,000
Casualties and losses
700 5,000

The Battle of Fundina took place on 2 August 1876 in Fundina, a village in Kuči, Principality of Montenegro. The day had a religious importance, as being the St. Elijah's Day (Eastern Orthodox calendar). The Montenegrin Army was led by the two Montenegrin dukes, Ilija Plamenac and Marko Miljanov, who had about 5,000 troopers under their direct command. Ottomans had strength of 40,000. Days before the battle, a Montenegrin Muslim, Mašo-Hadži Ahmetov revealed Ottoman plans to Marko Miljanov, so that Montenegrins knew where the attack was going to come from.

The Ottomans advanced from the Southwest towards Kuči, planning their final attack for 3 August. But, since Montenegrin commanders knew of their plans, they counterattacked a day before. Most of the fighting occurred at the bottom of Heljam hill, where Ottomans were defending from the trenches. While Marko Miljanov was in the front lines, Ilija Plamenac was commanding the Montenegrin army from the back, developing a strategy. After the victory was secured, Montenegrins captured the Ottoman leaders, put them in a house and burned it to the ground.[citation needed] The rest of Montenegrins chased the remaining Ottomans soutward, forcing them into a fast retreat. The exact number of Montenegrin casualties is unknown, but it is certain that Ceklin battalion suffered the greatest losses. Number of Ottoman casualties is more than four times greater than the number of Montenegrins who fought in the battle. The most successful part of the Montenegrin Army was Martinići battalion, which killed 2,000 Ottomans, and captured 6 enemy flags. Novak Vujošević from Kuči tribe was the biggest hero of the battle, killing 28 enemy soldiers; he later received an award from the Russian emperor. After the battle, Montenegrins sent a "gift" to Mahmud Pasha - a live wolf, as a symbol of Montenegrin pride and freedom. Marko Miljanov, one of the two Montenegrin commanders, was awarded the best captured sword and a house in Medun, which is today a museum. After the battle, Kuči clan was awarded a medal for bravery by the King Nicholas I. The importance of this Montenegrin victory was that it stopped the Ottoman advance, and secured Montenegrin victory in the Montenegrin-Turkish War of 1876-1878.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ćirković, Sima M., The Serbs, (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004), 224.

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